Lidstrom and Datsyuk Play Hooky on All-Star Game

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , ,

As a result, they face the chance of missing the Red Wings first game back after the break.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk are trying to get over some nagging injures and wanted to use the All-Star break as time so they would be healthy down the stretch. Unfortunately, the NHL has a policy where if you don't play in the All-Star game, or at least attend the All-Star game off-ice activities, without having an injury that prevents you from doing so, you will be unofficially suspended for one game. For example, Sidney Crosby is missing the game, but because he is in Montreal the policy does not affect him.

While I agree with this rule to an extent, I think there should certainly be exceptions involved. A guy like Nicklas Lidstrom should be one of those exceptions. He has played in the NHL All-Star game ten times and would often bring his family to the event. He is 38 years-old going on 39; and a valuable leader to his team. If he doesn't want to play in the All-Star game then he shouldn't have to at this juncture in his career. The All-Star break is a valuable time for guys such as Lidstrom to regroup their older bodies for the important stretch run. Some players really look forward to the time off and I think the older guys, perhaps 35+ years, should have a choice as to whether or not they want to show up for the game. Obviously, they should have to give fair notice so a replacement can be chosen.

As for the younger stars voted in like Datsyuk, I can definitely see why the NHL is trying to enforce that they at least be at the All-Stars. They are the new faces of the NHL and, for a league that suffers in terms of ratings, it needs its stars there at All-Star weekend. I think unless Datsyuk had to undergo treatment for an injury and couldn't be in Montreal then that's reasonable.

Here is a clip of the report taken from ESPN.com:


By the way, the All-Star game is tonight at 6 PM on CBC and Versus.

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